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O - Sexual Health

Spotlight Best Practice Organization Sexual Health Rehabilitation Service (SHRS) and Vancouver Sperm Retrieval Clinic (VSRC) – GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre and Blusson Spinal Cord Research Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia The Sexual Health Rehabilitation Service (SHRS) and the Vancouver Sperm Retrieval Clinic (VSRC) - part of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, home of ICORD and the Brenda and David McLean Integrated Spine Clinic - provide a combination of clinical, education and research expertise and services. These services, informed by an integrated research agenda, are recognized as a model of sexual rehabilitation and fertility care. The SHRS and VSRC serve approximately 400 clients each year, including individuals with SCI, and provide group patient/family education, sometimes in collaboration with peer services such as SCI-BC. VSRC provides sexual health rehabilitation through medical therapies and emotional support. Unique interventions include formal sexual desire and function assessment, and treatment in the hospital setting for men (erectile dysfunction, anejaculation and anorgasmia), and women (arousal disorders and orgasmic dysfunction). The team of sexual health clinicians, a sexual medicine physician and a urologist offer fertility counseling, education and medical interventions, related to ejaculatory dysfunction. Since opening in 1985, over 100 live births have been reported (a similar success rate to other non-SCI fertility clinics). The VSRC is unique in that it provides comprehensive couple care and management in one setting: it is a provincial resource for the education of healthcare providers, students, researchers and individuals interested in sexuality and disability. Founded in 1975 by Dr. George Szasz, the SHRS is recognized, nationally and internationally, as a forerunner in clinical practice, education delivery, and research in the area of sexuality and disability/chronic illness. A provincial tertiary care, consultative interdisciplinary service, the SHRS provides brief intervention therapy for patients with neurological disabilities and/or disorders, and their families; and offers numerous in-services, patient and clinician educational materials. With increasing evidence that sexual health needs of patients are poorly addressed, and a global interest in training and education, the team has developed (in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Rick Hansen Institute), unique courses in Sexual Health Rehabilitation, available online in September 2012. Specialized knowledge is disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, book chapter contributions, rehab textbooks and on-line modules for SCI-University; as well as contributions to guidelines for the Paralyzed Veterans Association and Vancouver Coastal Health, and a book on sexual health education for children with physical disabilities, for The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada. The SHRS is committed to the development of the body of sexual health knowledge through reflective practice, clinical practice guidelines, outcome measures and research. Recent research has focused on investigating the use of a sensory substitution device to facilitate the sexual rehabilitation of men with SCI, the development of vibrostimulation devices for enhancing sexual pleasure of men and women with SCI, the validation of sexual health outcome criteria on the ASIA exam, and the adaptation of an established psychoeducational tool for women with SCI, with low desire and body self-esteem. Success is attributed to SHRS founder Dr. Szasz, and Drs. Nigro and Elliott, the Sexual Health Clinicians, and partnerships and affiliations (with BC Centre for Sexual Medicine, UBC Physiatry, Urology and Gynecology departments; ICORD, SCI-BC, BC Institute of Technology, the Rick Hansen Institute, BC Ministry of Health and Public Health Agency of Canada, and others). Client care, education and research are informed by patient experiences, as well as interdisciplinary experience and current research. 156 CAPTURING CAPACITY IN CANADIAN SCI REHABILITATION


O - Sexual Health
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